Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the final Sunday after Pentecost will be celebrated at St Winefride's. Well Street. Holywell on Sunday 25th November at 11:30am
As we contemplate the end of the ecclesiastical year, Our Holy Mother Church draws our attention to the end of the world.
Prior to this end there are many terrible things that have been foretold. Many have formed a kind of obsession with the end times and focus all their attention to the great evils that will take place at that time. There is no doubt that it will be a terrible time for the majority of souls because most will be damned. Those who do not love God completely have much to fear. They will be led astray by false prophets and deceived by the anti-Christ. We are informed that almost all men will in that day bow down and worship the anti-Christ as God. This anti-Christ will perform all manner of lying wonders. He will imitate all the miracles that Jesus performed while He was here on earth, except for the restoring of life to the dead.
He (the anti-Christ) will appear to command the weather and storms; he will appear to restore sight to the blind, make the lame walk, etc. Mankind will bow down before him and accept him as God. The believers of the True God will be marginalized or martyred, but for their sake (the elect) the days will be shortened.
Enoch and Elias will return and they will challenge him to raise the dead. We are told that they will be beheaded by the anti-Christ and then Christ will return in all His glory. The entire world that had followed the anti-Christ will now become consumed with fear. They will call out for the mountains and the hills to cover them, but there will be no place to hide. All the dead will rise from their graves.
The damned will rise with all their sins now visible in their bodies. They will be the ugliest and vilest things that man has ever seen. By their very appearance everyone will know that they are among the damned. The Final Judgment will not take but a moment as all will see the sins of men and goodness and justice of God. The foulness of the lives of the damned will be physically seen. They will repulse everyone even themselves. Yet, there will be no escaping from themselves, there will be no alcohol or drugs to numb the senses. These damned men will forever have to live with themselves in this miserable state as well as live with all those like themselves and the devils. They were created to love and be with God and they will know and feel this desire and emptiness in their souls very intensely and for all of eternity. They will forever desire to be with God but will forever hate Him and be repulsed by Him. This unspeakable torment will be much worse than the fires of Hell which we are told is thousands of times more intense than the hottest fires here on earth.
Nothing will be hidden after the General Resurrection. The sins of the damned will be visible and if we could only see them now we would most probably faint away in fear and trembling. The virtues of the faithful, however will be equally visible to all of creation.
The servants of God have sinned and sometimes grievously sinned, but they have repented and have done penance. The scars of their sins will be visible as the wounds of Christ were still visible in His resurrected Body. They will not be signs of their failures but, rather signs of their victories over these falls. The devils and the damned will be eager to point out the failures of the blessed. The angels and saints will also be ready to show that these are not scars for damnation, but badges of honor because they were repented of and amended. The wounds of sin had been shown to the Divine physician and the healing remedies were applied. While the scar remains, it remains now only as a victory of God, and His humble servants, over sin.
As we contemplate the end of the year and the end of the world, may we tremble with fear lest we become complacent and end up among the damned that will tremble when it is too late. May we no longer remain idle, but set about healing our putrid wounds of sin by a true and sincere repentance. In this manner, we can with virtuous humble faith, lift up our eyes to Heaven and longingly sigh along with St. John: 'Come Lord Jesus, Come'.
This Sunday, we consider how very large things begin as something small and seemingly insignificant. The mustard seed and the bit of leaven are both small and for this reason humble, but within they contain very great potential. Showing us once again how God exalts the humble and humbles the proud.
The Church here on earth is in this humble state, for Christ says: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like . . .” We are in a seed stage here on earth, the full potential, growth, and development will only truly be seen from eternity in Heaven. We see that the seed must die to itself and be buried in order to develop and grow into the great plant that it is destined to be. And the bit of leaven must be buried or hidden in the mass of flour. Hidden deep within the flour the leaven slowly begins to influence and change the flour around it until it is all transformed into leaven like itself. This is the same manner that the Church here on earth is to transform this earth. She finds Herself buried in this earth surrounded by all kinds of evil or sinful men. It is Her mission in all truth and faith to spread the Gospel and the humility of Christ crucified transforming the evil into good the proud to humility. Her mission is to join individual men into one body: the Body of Christ just as the leaven joins the flour into one dough.
As we consider today’s parable we are given a greater insight into last week’s parable. There we saw that the wheat and the cockle were permitted to grow together side by side; here we see that the purpose is so that the sinner may be turned or converted in all humility and receive life as a member in the one Mystical Body of Christ. The Church for a time appears small and insignificant but in eternity we will see something completely different. Compared with the mega-churches of the heretics the Church looks insignificant, but in this humble state She is promised great things in eternity. In this humble state She draws to Herself and Christ all who will be converted and live. The rest no matter how big they are will all wither up and die.
We see in the lives of the saints, especially those saints that seem most humble and hidden from the world, that good men are attracted to them and in seeing and hearing them are gradually transformed by them. If we consider the meekness of St. Francis who in espousing the lowly virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience, strove to die to himself; found that to the contrary he began to live (live in Christ). His followers soon filled the earth – each striving to follow and imitate this simple and humble little man. This one soul has since been multiplied many times over. Many souls have entered the Franciscan orders to develop the virtues of St. Francis within themselves.
We do not wish nor does St. Francis desire that we should make a false god of him. This is a most repulsive idea to every truly humble soul. St. Francis sought only to follow Christ and he did so very well. He even bore the very wounds of Christ in his body. So in imitating or following St. Francis, we are likewise imitating and following Jesus Christ.
Christ is like the tiny mustard seed or as a bit of leaven hidden in flour – humiliated and dying upon the cross only to develop and draw men to Himself. From this death and hidden state He is lifted up and elevated on High. All those who believe and are baptized fill up what was lacking in Christ (Col 1,24) transforming their evil former dead selves into living members of Christ, in a sense, growing the Body of Christ. Each of us accomplishes this as we draw nearer to Christ and allow Him to transform us. We must take up our crosses daily, humbly dying to ourselves as we follow Christ to Calvary. It is in this dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi)
We cannot just look to Christ as the Protestants do thinking that Jesus has done everything and so there is nothing left for us to do but, believe. To glory in the name of Christian without becoming Christ-like is a vain and empty illusion. We also find many “religious” that glory in the name of their founders, but who have none of the founder’s spirit living within them. Neither do they follow the religious order’s spirit, or Christ. As such they do not have life in them even if they should appear to be much greater or more numerous than the true religious or the true Catholics.
Here on earth it is not numbers or quantity that God is interested in. It is quality. One soul in all humility imitating and following Christ in His suffering and death is worth more than the whole world living in the sins of pride and vanity. From one such soul we see that God can do great things as He did with St. Francis of Assisi. Both, His Church here on earth, and the individual people who form this Mystical Body are like the humble mustard seed or the bit of leaven. All who will join in this and receive life must likewise enter by the same path of humble virtue, dying to themselves. All other ways are deceptive illusions of devils. We cannot save this life if we want eternal life. (Luke 9, 24) We cannot enter the Church or a religious life and not also take up the spirit of the Church or the order. To try and do both is foolishness. “You cannot serve two masters. . .” (Matt. 6, 24)
If we will allow Christ to live within us by dying to ourselves, we shall become like Him and draw others with ourselves to Him; just as St. Francis and all the other saints have done.
Due to an error at our printers the letter to members which is printed on the reverse of the magazine's 'carrier sheet', i.e. the piece of paper with the mailing address on it, is not addressed to the addressee of the magazine.
That is, this piece of paper has the name and address of one member on one side, and a letter to another member on the other. We apologise for this, and assure members that no personal information other than their name and membership number has been sent to any other member.
A corrected version of the letter will be sent to each member.
We reach the time of the year whereby the Sunday Mass readings that were not used after Epiphany and before Septuagesima are read as we head toward the close of this liturgical year.
The liturgy this Sunday beholds a picture both human and Divine! Je-sus, a tired Man, falling off to sleep in a humble fishing boat despite the rage of the winds! Jesus, the tireless wide-awake God, "rising up" (Gospel) shows Himself to be their absolute Master! Now this boat really represents the Church. Enemies today, as in the past, gloat over "our human frailty" (Prayer, Secret), tossed about by the winds of inhuman evil spirits and the waves of human passion. Yet, despite our indifference and others' persecution, the Church contains the Divine Presence, ever "rising up" from the tomb of its Good Friday "failures" to the triumph of a new Easter resurrection (Postcommunion).
With this picture before us of the "Divine" help when all hope of human help is lost, the Epistle counsels us to do our part to calm the storms by loving our neighbour and by not working any evil against him, either in private or in the social order.
Had the 4th November fallen on any day bar Sunday, it would have been the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo E. C., who was an important figure in the reform of the Church in the XVI Century.
Ss Vitalis and Agricola Mm., would also have been are commemorated in the Mass. They were a slave and master who were martyred under Diocletian in about 340. Their bodies were discovered in 393, and St. Ambrose was pre-sent when the bodies were translated. Neither St Charles, or Ss Vitalis and Agricola are commemorated using the 1962 rubrics of the Mass but all the same pray to the Saints to get the Church on track from all the problems at present!
Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui facis mirabilia magna solus: praetende super famulos tuos, et super congregationes illis commissas, spiritum gratiae salutaris; et, ut in veritate tibi complaceant, perpetuum eis rorem tuae benedictionis infunde.
Kevin Jones is the local representative for the Latin Mass Society in Wrexham Diocese. Any views expressed neither represent those of the Latin Mass Society or the Diocese of Wrexham.